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63 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
the process by which our sensory receptors and nervous system receive and represent stimulus energies from our enivronment.
the process of organizing and interpreting sensory informaiton, enabling us to recognize meaningful objects and events.
bottom-up processing
analysis that begins with the sense receptors and works up to thte brain's integraiton of sensory information
top-down processing
information processing guided by higher-level mental processes, as when we construct perceptions drawing on our experience and expectations.
the study of relationships between the physical characteristics of stimuli, such as their intensity, and our psychological experience of them.
absolute threshold
the minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus fifty percento f the time.
signal detection theory
a theory predicting how and when we detect the presence of a faitnt stimulus, ("signal"), amid background stimulation, ("noise"). Assumes that there is no single absolute threshold and that detection depends partly on a person's experience, expectations, motivation, and level of fatigue.
below one's absolute threshold for conscious awareness.
difference threshold
the miminum difference between two stimuli required for etection fifty percent of the time. We experience the difference threshold as a just noticeable difference.
Weber's law
the principle that, to be perceived as different, two stimuli must differ by a constant minimum percentage, (rather than a constant amount).
sensory adaptation
diminished sensitiviyt as a consequencer of constant stimulation.
selective attention
the focusing of conscious awareness on a particular stimulus, as in the cocktail party effect.
converssion of one form of energy into another, in sensation, the transofrming of stimulus energies into neural iimpusles
the distance fomr the peak of noe light or sound wave to the peak of the next. Electromagnetics wavelengths vary form the short blips of cosmic rays to the long pulses of radio transmission
the dimension of color that is determined by the wavelength of bllight; what we know as the color names blue, green, and so forrth
the amount of energy in a light or soundw ave, which we perceive as brightness or loudness, as determined by the wave's amplitude
the adjustable opening in the center of the eyes through which light enters.
a ring of muslc etissue that forms the coored portion of the eyes around the puli and cotnrol sthe size of the pupil opening
the transparent structure behind the puil that changes shape to help focus images on the retina.
the process by which the eyes' lens hanges shape to focus near or far objects on the retina
the light-sensitive inner surface of the eyes, containing the receptor rods and cones plus layers of neurons that begin the processing of visual information
the sharpness of vision.
a condition in which nearby objets are seen more clearly than distant objects, because distant obejcts focus in front of the retina
retinal receptors that detect black, which, and gray; necessary for peripheral and twilight vision, when cones don't respond.
receptors cells that are concentrated near the center of hte retina and tat function in daylight or in well-lit conditions. The cones detect fine detail and give rise to color sensations.
optic nerve
the nerve that carries neural impulses from teh eyes to the brain
blind spot
the point at which the optic nerve leaves the eyes, creating a "blind" spot, because no receptor cells are located there.
the central focal point in the retina, around which the eye's cones cluster
feature detectors
enrve cells in the brain that respond to specific features of the stimulus, such as shape, angle, or movement
parallel processing
the processing of several aspets of a probelem simultaneously; the brain's natural mode of information processing for many functions, including visions. Contrasts with the step-by-step, (serial), processing of most computers and of conscious problem solving
Young-Helmholtz trichromatic theory
the theory that the retana contains three different color receptors - one most sensitive to red, one to green, one to blue which when stimulated in combination can produce the perception of any color.
opponent-process theory
the theory that opposing retinal processes, (red-green, yellow-blue, white-black), enable color visions. For example, some cells are stimulated by green and inhibited by red; others are stimulated by red and inhibited by green
color constancy
perceiving familiar objects as having consistent color, even if changing illumination alters the wavelnegsht reflected by the object.
teh sense of hearing
the numer of complete wavelenghts that pass a point in a given time, (for example, per second).
a tone's highenss or lowness; depends on frequency
middle ear
the chamber between the eardrum and cochlea containing three tiny bones, (hammer, anvil, and stirrup), that concentrate the vibrations of the eardrum on the cochlea's oval window.
iner ear
the innermost part of the ear, containing the cochela, semicircular canals, and vestibular sacs.
a coiled, bony, fluid-fille dtube in the inner ear through which sound waves trigger nerve impulses.
place theory
in hearing, the theory that links the pitch we hear with the place where the cohclea's membrane is stimulated
frequency theory
in hearing, the theory that the rate of nerve impulses traveling up the auditory nerve matches the frequnency of a tone, thus enabling us to sense its pitch
conduction hearing loss
hearing loss caused by damage to the mechanical system that conducts sound waves to the cochlea
sensorineural hearing loss
hearin gloss caused by damage to the cochlea's receptors cells or to the auditory nerves; also called nerve deafness
gate-control theory
the theory tha the spinal cord contains a neurological "gate" that blocks pain signals or allows them to pass on to the brain. The "gate" is opened by the activity of pain signals traveling up small nerve fibers and is closed by activity in learge fibers or information coming from the brain
sensory interaction
the principle that one sense may influence another, as when the smell of food influences its taste.
the system for sensing hte pssition and movement of individual body parts
vestibular sense
the sense of body movement adn position, including the sense of balance
visulal capture
the tendency for vision to dominate the other senses.
an organized whole, Gestalt psychologists emphaize our tendency ot integrate pieces of information into meaningful wholes.
the organization of the visula field into objects, (the figures), tha stand out from their surroundings, (the ground).
the perceptual tendency to organize stimuli into coherent groups.
depth perception
teh ability to see objects in three dimensions although the image htat strike the retina are two-dimensional; allows us to judge distance.
visual cliff
a laboratory device for testing depth preception in infants and young animals.
binocular cues
depth cues, such as retanal disparity and convergence that depend on the use of two eyes.
monocular cues
distnace cues, such as linear perspective an doverlap, available to either eyes alone.
retinal disparity
a binocular cue for perceiving depth: By comparing images from the two eyeballs, the brain computes distance - the greater the disparity, (difference), between teh two images, the close the object
a binocular cue for perceiving depth; the extent to which the eyes converge inward when looking at an object.
phi phenomenon
an illusion of movement created when two or more adjacent lights lblink on and off in succession.
perceptual constancy
perceiving objects as unchanging, (having consistent lightness, color, shape, and size), even as illumination and retainal images change.
perceptual adaption
in vision, the ability to adjust to an artificially displaced or even inverted visual field.
human factors psychology
a branch of psychology that explores how people and machines interact and how machines and physical environments can be adapted to human behaviors.
extrasensory perception, (ESP)
the controversial claim that perception can occur apart from sensory input. Said to include telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition.
the study of paranormal phenomena, including ESP and psychokinesis